The project researched and developed an evidence-based, integrated, and sustainable student engagement model to improve access to post-secondary educational opportunities for students with diverse needs.
In an increasingly knowledge-based society, education is a critical component for citizenship, health, economic and social well-being. Alberta is not well positioned, despite its current economic prosperity, to leverage its human resources to participate in a knowledge-based society and economy. Alberta’s participation rates in post-secondary education are low; the participation rate for Albertans facing barriers is even lower.
This project created an evidence-based framework to inclusively engage students to attract, retain and support the success of all learners in post-secondary education. Direct outcomes for the project include increased student services staff ability to support diverse students, transfer of knowledge on practice in inclusive student services within the Alberta post-secondary system and enhanced accessibility for student services environments, systems and services.
The Inclusive Student Engagement project was funded by Alberta Advanced Education and Technologies, through the Access to the Future Fund.
January 2010 to June 2012
Community College staff, faculty, and students developing intercultural communication skills, colleges looking to expand their welcoming campus initiatives and researchers interested in intercultural communication and welcoming communities.
1813 people including:
The experience of inclusion (and exclusion) depends on your perspective. Our perspective of difference and diversity shapes how we define inclusion and how we understand the “problem space” of inclusion (Cook-Greuter, 2005). The college staff member who seeks to pro-actively include the students he or she engages with, the student leader who engages other students, the student seeking services may all have a different perspective of what inclusion means, feels like and what is needed to create an inclusive college. We applied the AQAL meta-framework as a useful tool to hold these multiple perspectives while inquiring into the lived reality of inclusion (and exclusion) in a college environment. Each of the quadrants of the frame is a doorway into understanding and creating a more inclusive college.
The Inclusion mapping tool (described in the Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement model for action presentation) can be used as a way to identify current activities to support inclusion and also as a way to recognize gaps in organizational activities, systems and culture. The map makes visible activities that support student inclusion. This tool supports ongoing capacity development; once current activities are identified, gaps can also be identified and longer term planning can be supported to maximize inclusion efforts within a college. A multi-year inclusion strategy is currently underway at NorQuest College; the inclusion mapping tool is supporting this initiative.
The Inclusive Student Engagement project engaged students, staff and College community members in conversations that mattered on the topics of inclusion and exclusion. Through the intercultural training with student services staff and work related transfer tasks to apply their learning in their workplace, staff engaged with issues of providing services to students and how cultural differences show up in the service engagement. Through Inclusion Fusion events like Photo Voice, student perspectives and photos of how they see the reality of inclusion in the College and how they make sense of it were shared and discussed, as an example of how an intercultural event encourages perspective taking across cultural differences.
Being in the proximity of diversity does not equal engagement. When we create a space for conversations and engagement to happen, this creates the opportunity to listen to and understand another’s perspective. The multicultural event is typically a celebration of the visible, exterior aspects of difference, showcasing different foods, dress, and cultural artifacts. The multicultural event is effective to raise awareness of exterior differences. The intercultural event can be a celebration of similarities and differences; intercultural engagement allows for an exploration of invisible, interior aspects of difference; the values and culturally informed patterns that guide how we communicate and behave. The Inclusion Fusion intercultural engagement activities created a variety of spaces (e.g. Art of Inclusion, PhotoVoice, Conversation Café, Speakers Corner) to engage with interior perspectives of culture and questions of welcoming, inclusion and exclusion. Both events are doorways into inclusion. Hosting both types of events create an enhanced inclusion environment by providing multiple doorways to engage with diversity. From an ethnorelative perspective of intercultural competence, the space for an intercultural engagement is a safe place to practice interacting with unfamiliar, different others guided by agreements of curiosity and discovery (tolerate ambiguity), respect (how we value others), openness (withhold judgement), and to develop greater cultural self-awareness and cultural other-awareness. It is a place to practice receiving and understanding the perspective of others.
The Inclusion Fusion events and resources were made possible through extensive collaboration with faculty, staff and students at NorQuest College and with community members. We want to thank the following:
Drumming circle was provided by David Thiaw. Graphic design and editorial services for the Inclusion Fusion and PhotoVoice materials provided by Greg Miller and his team at Backstreet Communications. Organizational change and AQAL/Integral consultation services provided by Meg Salter from Megaspace Inc . Design and layout of the Inclusion Fusion presentation provided by Elizabeth Hanlis from eHanlis Inc. Stakeholder engagement facilitation was provided by Sharon Matthias from Matthias Inc. Art of Inclusion services provided by Michael Wallace.
For More Information Contact: 1-780-644-6770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This presentation provides an overview of the theoretical framework for the Inclusion = Diversity + Engagement model and how the model was applied in the Inclusive Student Engagement project. Watch the presentation below and follow along in PowerPoint (ISE_webpage_presentation_model_narration.pptx).
Can't see the video? Try downloading the video: WMV MP4
This presentation provides an overview of the Inclusion Fusion events held at NorQuest College in 2010 and 2011 with information on how to host your own Inclusion Fusion event.
Inclusion Fusion PowerPoint file (18.6M)
This guide supports you to plan, organize and host an Inclusion Fusion event in your organization, including a Project Outline beginning on page 1 and the Event Guides to be downloaded beginning on page 23.
Inclusion Fusion event guide (6M pdf)
This poster features the components of an Inclusion Fusion event.
Inclusion Fusion Poster (2.5M pdf)
This documentary features the PhotoVoice project in 1 class at NorQuest in 2011. The documentary was developed to support instructors to incorporate a PhotoVoice activity into their classroom. It features the photos and perspectives of students inquiring into their experience of inclusion and exclusion at NorQuest College.
This guide supports you to incorporate a PhotoVoice project into your teaching practice.
PhotoVoice project guide (2.5M pdf)
The AIM tool is a user-friendly tool to guide the development of information resources for students. Our research confirmed that using the criteria in the AIM tool supported student’s ease of reading and comprehension of information.
Assessment of Informational Materials Guide (50K pdf)
Assessment of Informational Materials Tools (86K pdf)
This online tool helps you to determine if you are using language that may not be easily understood by most learners. The tester uses the Dale Chall list of commonly understood words to identify accessible language.
This report provides detailed information about the Inclusive Student Engagement Project including project goals, activities, stakeholder engagement and outcomes.
Inclusive Student Engagement Final Report (1.2M pdf)